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The Travel Journal of Jacqui and Lars

 

Russia - 7 July, 2003

 

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Location Latitude Longitude Elevation

Travel Distance

Start Vladivostok (Hotel Vladivostok - Visit) N4307.091' E13152.665' 0 meters .
Walk around city . . . .
Finish Vladivostok (Hotel Vladivostok) N4307.091' E13152.665' 0 meters .

Total (by train):

766 km

Total (other):

19 km

Total:

785 km

 

Weather: Overcast, cool/warm, humid and breezy.  In the afternoon, the sun occasionally peeks through the clouds, warming things up.  In the evening, foggy, cool and windy.

 

 

We continue to be lazy and have a slow morning.  Hey, we have so many days here, we can afford to relax.  Soon, we will have very little time to sleep in.  We once again have breakfast in the bar on our floor - today we have the options of two fried eggs or porridge.  Lars goes for the eggs and Jacqui and the porridge.  Once again, we have an excellent view over the gulf.  Another regatta is going on, but it is further away, so we cannot get such a good look.

 

It is now time to change hotels.  The one we are in now is a bit expensive.  It was nice to have something pre-booked for us as we arrived on a Saturday, but we are here so many nights it is good to save some money.  We have decided to stay in the same building, just to move to the main hotel to one of their economy floors.  We will be saving over $30 a day and the rooms are pretty much the same.  All we will be missing out on is breakfast (and we would have gotten tired of eggs every morning), the Star Sports TV channel (Wimbledon is over and it is in Chinese anyway) and a mini-bar (which we would never use anyway).  It seems to be a bit of a no-brainer.  In any case, the beds turn out to be a bit more comfortable and we get a view over the gulf.

 

While we could have saved a couple more dollars at the other hotel we checked out, here we just have to load our bags into the lift and go up three floors.  Low stress.  Check-in takes a while - lots of paper work.  We book our rooms at the reception in the lobby and they print out all sorts of paper for us, and then we go up to the floor and pay our floor attendant for the rooms.  Bit strange, but it works and we get our room.

 

It is now almost 2 PM and time to head out.  First we have to take care of some business.  We need to go to our travel agency - Lucky Tours - and collect our flight tickets for Kamchatka.  They are a bit of a walk away, so we get going.  Today the weather has changed for the better, with the sun peeking through the clouds. It is now actually quite warm and with the humidity, it is easy to break into a sweat.  We head up Okeansky pr towards Pokrovsky Park.  Once we reach the park, we are not sure which way to go and get a bit lost, especially after some locals gave us the wrong, or misleading, directions.  But we persevere and find our way to their offices.  After collecting our tickets and paying for one of the nights in the hotel, we head back into town.  Along the way, we grab some snacks - fruit (which has been excellent here, better than back in Malaysia) and pastries (Lars needs to give up trying them out - they are all so dry).

 

On our way back down into town, we check out some department stores to look for Tupperware for cooking our noodles on the train.  We check out GUM department store (the old state-owned shop), and they have some that should work well for us.  We will buy it when we return from Kamchatka.  As we wander along, we come across an internet cafe and take the opportunity to check our emails.  Then we decide to head to the beach to relax and have a drink.  Along the way, we stop at another fruit stand - they have some good-looking cherries, so we pick some up.  Down at the beach, we try out another beer stall and enjoy our cherries with a bottle of beer and some chips.

 

Russia03_CD09_04_web.jpg (72144 bytes)

It is time to get ready for dinner.  We head back to the hotel to drop off some stuff and to freshen up before heading back out.  We have decided to try out another local Russian restaurant - Nostalgia.  They also have an art gallery and some shops on the upper floor, so it is also a good chance to see what is available.  We browse and find a few interesting things, but will wait until we return in a couple of weeks.  Then we head down to the restaurant.  The name suits it - it harks back to the old days.  The walls are covered with red felt and mirrors.  Chandeliers dangle from the ceiling.  It is a small and intimate room.  We decide to go for it (they have English menus, so that is a big help).  And we do not regret our choice.  We end up having two courses each - Lars fried cheese and beef stroganoff (washed down with beer) and Jacqui some eggplant salad and chicken Nostalgia (washed down with two pineapple champagne cocktails).  They are all good -we may have to come back again.  

 

On our way back to the hotel room, we buy some groceries, including water, pepper vodka and some more fruit.  A well balanced diet.  Back in our room, we work on our journal and do some reading.

 

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